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What is transcription vs. translation?

A simple explanation of the differences between the role of a transcriber and a translator. (We are not talking about DNA or RNA here!)


What is transcription? 

A transcript is a written or typed version of an audio or video file

Sometimes this will be a verbatim transcript. Alternatively, this may be a condensed set of notes capturing the key points of what is said. 

Verbit offers a range of transcription services and price points. For more information, contact our Client Services team who are on hand with more information. 

When is it needed?

Legal recordings: You might need a verbatim record of an audio or video recording to be used as evidence in an investigation. 

Film & TV: Instead of looking through hours of footage after a long shoot, you can use a transcript to quickly find the bit you want. 

Market Research: It’s much quicker and easier to complete your analysis from a written transcript, instead of having to rewind through an audio recording to find the juicy bits. 

HR meetings: Sometimes you need a reliable and exhaustive record of everything that was said in an important meeting. 

Video and podcast marketing: Transcripts and captions/subtitles of your videos and podcast increase accessibility and help boost SEO. 


What is translation?

Audio translation is much more complex than transcription. In audio translation, someone fluent in both the original and target language must translate what is being said into the target language. Translation is extremely subjective and sensitive to context, as anyone who has laughed at a mistranslated signs like these will know! 

Hopefully this clarifies the difference between transcription and translation!

If you just need a text copy of something that’s been said, then transcription is what you need. If you need the meaning of something that’s said in a different language, then you need translation

Verbit offers transcription services worldwide via our Verbit Go secure online portal; from video subtitles to verbatim legal documents, interviews, disciplinaries, translations and anything in between. For a quick quote, or simply some advice on time-stamped transcripts, get in touch!